Swiss football association takes action against homophobia

With the start of the Swiss Super League two weeks ago, the Swiss Football Association (ASF) has decided to take measures to end homosexual discrimination. 

Lara Bullens
Lara Bullens NewsMavens, Western Europe
Swiss football association takes action against homophobia - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

The ASF had integrated mandatory homosexual awareness courses in the training curriculum for up and coming coaches. In the course description, it is written that "homosexuality is not the problem, homophobia is".

The courses teach trainers how to react in a constructive way to players or other members when coming out, as well as helping them navigate and deflate verbal or physical harassment that takes place against homosexual footballers. 

Given the dearth of players coming out in male football leagues, homosexuality is still a massive taboo in this sport. What's more, the multiculturalism and diversity that comes with the sport means that the topic is quite delicate. 

As it stands, only one Swiss referee -- Pascal Erlachner -- has come out as openly gay.

These courses will finally act as a constructive awareness tool in a heteronormative sport that often thrives off machism. And the Swiss did it right -- it is all a matter of education. One red card for homophobia!

Details from the story:

  • Swiss Super League (male football) started two weeks ago
  • The Swiss Football Association (ASF) decided to battle homophobia more seriously
  • They have integrated a sensibilisation course in the training curriculum for trainers/coaches
  • 1,400 coaches have taken on this 45 minute module in 2017
  • Trainers also learn how to react in a constructive way to players coming out and how to intervene if verbal or physical aggressions occur
  • Reto Gertschen, the director of the training courses for coaches, doesn’t know whether this will get rid of homophobia but he is persuaded that this action will help players and coaches open their minds
  • Groups of gay fans are also trying to sensitise the general public and football clubs with regards to the difficulties certain players have with their homosexuality
  • A fan recently reported that “we still often hear homophobic chants and insults in the stadiums”
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